Skip to comments.Ed Freeman MOH
Posted on 12/12/2008 8:01:30 PM PST by Aquakat
The following was posted by ups dave on PGR web.
You're an 18 or 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, 11-14-1965. LZ Xray , Vietnam .
Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his H uey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.
He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back...... 13 more times..... and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise, ID .....May God rest his soul.....
(Oh yeah, Paul Newman died that day too. I guess you knew that --
He got a lot more press than Ed Freeman.)
Did search under Ed Freeman so the above should be new.
I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind, we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died.
General George S. Patton
...they are still soldiers
Signed:..”ALOHA RONNIE” Guyer
Veteran-”WE WERE SOLDIERS” Battle of IA DRANG-1965
How easily we forget those who should never be forgotten.
Certainly Paul Newman brought joy to many people, myself included. I wonder how many of them he offered up his life, so that they may live?
May God Bless the souls of all the Ed Freemans of the world.
I have no words worthy enough to honor such a patriot and hero.
I can only trust that there are still enough spirits like his left in this country, that one day, we will rescue our magnificent nation, as he once rescued his fellow soldiers.
President Presents Medal of Honor to Captain Ed W. Freeman
Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Medal of Honor to Captain Ed W. Freeman
The East Room
THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. Good morning, and welcome to the White House. Today, for the first time, I will present the Medal of Honor. It's a unique privilege to present the nation's highest military distinction to Ed Freeman, of Boise, Idaho. This moment is well-deserved and it's been long in coming.
Our White House military unit is accustomed to a lot of great events, but I can assure you they started this day with a great sense of anticipation. After all, they know how rare this kind of gathering is and what it means -- to be in the presence of one who has won the Medal of Honor is a privilege; to be in the room with a group of over 50 is a moment none of us will ever forget. We're in the presence of more than 50 of the bravest men who have ever worn the uniform. And I want to welcome you all to the White House. (Applause.)
It's an honor, as well, to welcome Barbara -- a name I kind of like -- (laughter) -- Ed's wife, along with his family members and members of his unit from Vietnam. As well, I want to welcome the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Chief of the Joint Chiefs, as well as members of the Joint Chiefs. I want to welcome Senator McCain. I want to welcome Senator Craig, Congressman Otter and Congressman Simpson from the delegation of Idaho. I want to welcome you all.
It was in this house in this office upstairs that Abraham Lincoln signed into law the bills establishing the Medal of Honor. By a custom that began with Theodore Roosevelt, the Medal of Honor is to be presented by the President. That duty came to Harry S. Truman more than 70 times. He often said that he'd rather wear the medal than to be the Commander in Chief. Some of you might have heard him say that. (Laughter.) Perhaps you were also here on May 2, 1963, when John F. Kennedy welcomed 240 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
By all rights, another President from Texas should have had the honor of conferring this medal. It was in the second year of Lyndon Johnson's presidency that Army Captain Ed Freeman did something that the men of the 7th Calvary have never forgotten. Years pass, even decades, but the memory of what happened on November 14, 1965 has always stayed with them.
For his actions that day, Captain Freeman was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. But the men who were there, including the commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall, felt a still a higher honor was called for. Through the unremitting efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Crandall and many others, and the persuasive weight from Senator John McCain, the story now comes to its rightful conclusion.
That story began with the battalion surrounded by the enemy, in one of Vietnam's fiercest battles. The survivors remember the desperate fear of almost certain death. They remember gunfire that one witness described as the most intense he had ever seen. And they remember the sight of an unarmed helicopter coming to their aid.
The man at the controls flew through the gunfire not once, not 10 times, but at least 21 times. That single helicopter brought the water, ammunition and supplies that saved many lives on the ground. And the same pilot flew more than 70 wounded soldiers to safety.
In a moment we will hear the full citation, in all its heroic detail. General Eisenhower once observed that when you hear a Medal of Honor citation, you practically assume that the man in question didn't make it out alive. In fact, about one in six never did. And the other five, men just like you all here, probably didn't expect to.
Citations are also written in the most simple of language, needing no embellishment, or techniques of rhetoric. They record places and names and events that describe themselves. The medal itself bears only one word, and needs only one: valor.
As a boy of 13, Ed Freeman saw thousands of men on maneuvers pass by his home in Mississippi. He decided then and there that he would be a soldier. A lifetime later, the Congress has now decided that he's even more than a soldier, because he did more than his duty. He served his country and his comrades to the fullest, rising above and beyond anything the Army or the nation could have ever asked.
It's been some years now since he left the service and was last saluted. But from this day, wherever he goes, by military tradition, Ed Freeman will merit a salute from any enlisted personnel or officer of rank.
Commander Seavers, I now ask you to read this citation of the newest member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. And it will be my honor to give him his first salute.
(The citation is read.)
(The Medal of Honor is presented to Captain Ed W. Freeman.) (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: We'll see you for a reception. Thank you all for coming.
END 9:51 A.M. EDT
great quote for a great man, Ed Freeman, and the many others who have made sacrifices to defend our country.
I think I’ll watch ‘We Were Soldiers’ this weekend and celebrate them.
Wasn’t he granted waivers to become a helicopter pilot because of his height - about 6’6” or so? IIRC, his nickname is “Too Tall”.
Ed W. Freeman
Birth: Nov. 20, 1927
Death: Aug. 20, 2008
Viet Nam War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Master Sergeant during the Korean War and was given a battlefield commission during the battle of Pork Chop Hill. At that point in his career his dream was to attend flight school. However, because of his six foot four stature he was considered too tall. In 1965 the height limit was raised allowing Freeman to enroll fulfilling a lifelong dream. The nickname “Too Tall” stuck with him throughout his military career. It would be during the Vietnam War that Freeman would receive the honor for heroic actions in battle. As an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war and flight leader, second in command, he flew fourteen separate rescue missions, providing life saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers at a heavily engaged infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the la Drang Valley. He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush in July of 2001. His Citation reads: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers — some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.” His heroics grew nationwide attention when his character was played by Mark McCracken in the film, “We Were Soldiers.” Freeman died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease at age 80. (bio by: Caroline)
See ‘ED FREEMAN passes away’
"I took those boys in and I had take them out."